Marrow granulocyte reserves, as measured by the administration of etiocholanolone, were studied in 59 patients with a variety of rheumatic diseases. The majority of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (62%) and all patients with chronic hepatitis and Felty's syndrome tested had abnormally low granulocyte reserves. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome were generally normal. No correlation could be established between deficient bone marrow responses and other clinical or laboratory parameters such as leukopenia. Plasma was obtained in 2 patients when they exhibited diminished marrow reserves. After treatment of these patients and a return of the etiocholanolone test to normal, reinfusion of the plasma had a suppressive effect on the marrow reserve, suggesting that a humoral factor(s) may be responsible for the abnormality.
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